Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is music in books. I think the actual prompt is geared more toward either listing songs that would make great books or identifying a theme song for a particular book. I’m horrible at that sort of thing, and also deep in the revision process of my own project, so all I could think of were songs for my own scenes.
Instead, I’ve put together a list of books in which characters are either in a band or in which the stories feature music as an important theme. For me, music has always been a huge part of my life, so I was surprised that, as I made this list, there weren’t more books that came to mind which feature music as part of the story.
Here are my picks:
Scar Boys by Len Vlahos – Harry finds music and his role in the band to be an outlet and identity, even if it only makes the inequality in his relationship with Johnny more obvious. Read my review.
Scar Girl by Len Vlahos – After the tragic accident that tore them apart, the band struggles to reunite. Told as a series of interviews with band members, each recalls the highs and lows that ultimately led to another loss for the group. Read my review.
If I Stay by Gayle Foreman – Mia’s life hangs in the balance after a car accident that leaves her in a coma. She has to decide whether she will return to her life, even if it means facing life alone.
Where She Went by Gayle Foreman – Adam, Mia’s boyfriend in If I Stay, finds his new stardom to be a pretty empty life and reflects back on the great love he shared with Mia.
Apparently I didn’t review either of these books, though I did read them. I’m pretty sure there’s some sexual content– Mia’s parents are pretty permissive as far as her relationship with Adam goes. I can’t remember whether or not there’s profanity. I’ll have to go back and review these.
I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert – I don’t think I can say it better than the description on Goodreads: “Punk rock is in Emily Black’s blood. Her mother, Louisa, hit the road to follow the incendiary music scene when Emily was four months old and never came back. Now Emily’s all grown up with a punk band of her own, determined to find the tune that will bring her mother home.” (I think I read this back before I started doing reviews here. I wish it were a cleaner read.)
Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert – I think I liked this one better than I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone, but it’s been so long I’m not sure. Both are really gritty tales with great characters. One has quite a bit of drug content (mostly drinking maybe? I can’t remember.)
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen – I loved that the music in this book became this bond between Annabel and Owen, and really, a path toward healing. I remember that I adored Owen Armstrong. Must keep him handy for the next “book boyfriends” list. He’d be on there for me. (I seriously thought I had reviewed this book. I can’t believe I didn’t! Must add to my review list.)
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – (Forgive me…. I listed this book on my last TTT. Can’t help it!! It fits both categories.) While the music doesn’t play a ginormous role in this story, either, it’s definitely part of the connection between Eleanor and Park. The story does great justice to the way that music so often becomes a voice or an anthem, putting things into words that we have a hard time speaking on our own. Read my review.
Sold Out by Melody Carlson – A girl unused to fame suddenly finds herself right in the middle of it. As Chloe and her band mates have to navigate the struggles of stardom, they learn that only by putting it all in God’s hands can they succeed.
You Were Here by Cori McCarthy – Five teens connected by a fatal accident sort out their unresolved grief by revisiting places frequented by the boy they knew in hopes of finding messages he left behind. I haven’t reviewed this book yet, because I only finished reading it recently, but I really liked it a lot. Unfortunately, it does have some explicit language, alcohol content and sexual situations. Look for the review soon for more information.
I’ve read If I Stay, Where she went and Eleanor and Park. 😀 And yes, the music aspect on these novels made me love them more. 🙂
Thanks, Rosa! 🙂 It’s amazing to me how much music can affect my reading experience, too.
I read Sold Out YEARS ago! I always enjoyed those Diary of a Teenage Girl books. Good spin on the topic!
Thanks, Amy! 🙂 I feel like a cheated a little bit, but I just had such a hard time really imagining good pairings on my own. Reading the other TTT lists has been awesome, though!
Great list! I loved Eleanor & Park. I also have a copy of You Were Here and I’m hoping to read it soon.
Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian
Thanks, Krystianna! I hope you like You Were Here. I loved the way the author used graphic novel panels and graffiti in the storytelling. Mik was my FAVORITE!!